ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Fare Hike and Urban Protest

Calcutta Crowd in 1953

This article, published in 29 December 1990 issue of EPW analyses the widespread protests in Kolkata (then Calcutta) when the tram fares were increased in 1953. In the wake of an increase in railway fares we are republishing this article sensing that rising conveyance costs remains as potent an issue as 60 years back. 

Abstract: Riots and insurrections have been part of Calcutta's history and one of the interesting features of crowd action in the city, before and since independence, is the attack on tramcars by frenzied mobs. This paper attempts to capture the urban disturbance and mob violence that erupted in Calcutta in 1953 in the wake of a sudden rise in second class tram fares and studies the tramwaymen's attitude towards people's protest as also the reaction of the West Bengal government to the episode.

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